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Japan’s Finance Minister Warns, Yuan Declines

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Japan’s Finance Minister Taro Aso on Monday commented on the strength of the yen and its impact on the Japanese economy.

In his words, “Recent yen gains have various impacts on exports, economic and fiscal policies and Japan’s position is that this isn’t desirable.”

“It’s natural that Japan has means to intervene,” Aso says in parliament in Tokyo.

Recent comments from both Finance Minister and Governor Kuroda have not had any slowdown effect on the currency, even though the strong yen threatens Japanese exports and gradually weakening business confidence after trading at the levels last seen in October 2014 before BOJ increased its quantitative easing program.

The minister said the agreement of G20 doesn’t include the way Japan’s government carries out foreign exchange policy and that G20 nations agree that excessive moves in the markets are undesirable.

The yen traded at 107.35 per dollar at 2:06 p.m. in Tokyo and has appreciated 12 percent in 2016.

Yuan Declines

The yuan plunged the most in a week on Monday amid speculation the currency will depreciate against the dollar if the Fed increase interest rates in June.

“As long as there is an expectation of yuan depreciating against the dollar, there will be a massive outflow of funds,” said Iris Pang, Hong Kong-based senior economist for greater China with Natixis Asia Ltd. “As long as channels under the capital account are still semi-closed, trade will remain a shadow channel for funds outflows.”

On Saturday, People’s Bank of China said its currency reserves increased by $7.089 billion dollars in April to $3.22 trillion. Only for investors to start moving money out on Monday to protect their gains.

According to China Foreign Exchange Trade System prices, the yuan fell 0.21 percent to 6.5041 a dollar as of 11:17 a.m. in Shanghai. A gauge of dollar strength climbed for the fifth day, bringing its total gains to 1.8 percent.

The offshore yuan traded in Hong Kong rose 0.04 percent to 6.5167.

CEO/Founder Investors King Ltd, a foreign exchange research analyst, contributing author on New York-based Talk Markets and Investing.com, with over a decade experience in the global financial markets.

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Personal Finance

Don’t Let Lifestyle Inflation Jeopardize Your Financial Future – FBNQuest

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Investors King

A phenomenon that is often less obvious to most people is lifestyle inflation, otherwise known as “lifestyle creep”. It occurs when a rise in discretionary income, the amount available to an individual after making essential expenses, prompts an increase in living standards as luxuries become new necessities.

Financial literacy is an important aspect of learning what strongly impacts your quality of life. It affects your ability to navigate through economic downturns and your response to unexpected financial windfalls. Changes in financial fortunes happen to us in varying measures, influencing how we save, spend and invest. Without a plan, it becomes more difficult to resist increased spending: the urge to upgrade your cable subscription, enjoy fine dining, add more items to your cart, and add a few more luxuries to your travel experience. The list of possibilities is endless when you have more money to spend on optional items.  It all adds up quickly and when you adapt to your new lifestyle, it becomes more challenging to give up former luxuries that now feel like necessities.

It’s not all bad though. A measure of lifestyle inflation is unavoidable and not entirely unacceptable. It is okay to reward yourself, however, you must avoid situations where subtle increases in your expenses become obstacles on your path to achieving your financial goals.

The younger population, in particular, should pay more attention to lifestyle inflation given its potential long-term impact on investment goals. Research in the United States indicates that most inflation-adjusted wage growth occurs in the early working years of the population. It is likely that a similar pattern occurs in Nigeria. This implies that failure to keep lifestyle inflation under control in your early working life may cost you the opportunity to make investments that will be more valuable later in your career.

Lifestyle inflation can be best managed by creating a system that makes it easy to save and invest your money. Here are two simple recommendations that could help you build habits to limit the impact on your financial goals.

  1. Create a reverse budget that treats your goals as bills:  This is a simple spending plan where your primary focus is on saving and investing first, before taking care of any other expense.
  2. Automate your finances, especially your savings and investments: Few people find a way to increase their savings over time, however, modern technology has provided platforms that make it easy to escalate savings and investments routinely. The great thing about automating your finances is that it offers an opportunity to seamlessly create a new habit. Research shows that you are more likely to succeed at things that become habits than at things that require change because we are wired as humans to resist change.

FBNQuest Asset Management offers you the opportunity to automate investments in one of a series of products that best fit your financial goal. If you are a conservative investor, you may consider making regular investments in the FBNQuest Money Market Fund. If you are more risk-tolerant, you may decide to seek higher returns by investing in the FBNQuest Equity Fund. Automatic debits could be made monthly from your bank account.

Creating a system for financial success is all about making intentional choices with our money. A good system will direct your money to the things that matter most and keep you on track to handling lifestyle inflation.

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Finance

FG to Earn N462 Billion from Electronic Money Transfer Levy in 2021 – World Bank

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Money Transfer - Investors King

The World Bank has said the Federal Government of Nigeria will earn an estimated N462 billion from electronic money transfer levy in 2021.

The leading multilateral financial institution disclosed in its ‘Resilience through Reforms’ report.

The Federal Government had introduced a levy on electronic money transfer in the Finance Act 2020 to take advantage of the growing electronic transfer in the country and up revenue generation.

The electronic money transfer levy is a single one-off charge of N50 on electronic fund transfer in any deposit money bank or financial institution on any type of account on sums of N10,000 or more.

Akpan Ekpo, the Chairman of the Foundation for Economic Research and Training, who spoke in a telephone interview voiced his concerns on the levy.

He said, “The levy is remitted to the government, which is fine. But I think the savers, the people who use the transfer channels, are over-levied. You pay maintenance fee, transfer fee, and I think if this level of levying continues, it will discourage people from using electronic channels.

“Personally, I think the EMT levy should be out of the Finance Act. There is too much burden on the citizens, although the government is making great money from it. Let us hope they use the money wisely, but it shouldn’t have been put there in the first place.

“It is a law now; there is nothing that can be done about it. But I hope it is used wisely, and they would be transparent about how the money is being used.”

Akpan said the EMT levy would discourage individuals outside the formal banking net.

He said, “With the EMT levy, more people are discouraged from using the banks and its services. A lot of Nigerians sell in rural areas, and are outside the financial system net.

“With the EMT, more people are further excluded. There really was no need to introduce the EMT; it will discourage those who are not already in the formal banking sector from even coming into it. It is likely to further deepen the financial exclusion of many Nigerians.”

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Banking Sector

Hope PSBANK Collaborates With FG To Create 100 Jobs In Each Local Government

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Hope PSBank- Investors King

Hope Payment Service Bank, a subsidiary of Unified Payment Services Limited and Nigeria’s premier digital bank is collaborating with the Federal Government through the Ministry of Labour and Productivity to create jobs for no fewer than 77,400 people across the country.

The employment opportunity is part of the exit strategy of the Federal Government’s Special Public Works Programme being executed alongside the bank by empowering 100 Nigerians in each of the 774 local governments.

Speaking at the official kick-off of the collaboration, the Managing Director, Hope Payment Service Bank, Mr. Ayotunde Kuponiyi noted that the digital bank serves as an enabling platform that would interface with 77,400 beneficiaries selected from the Special Works Programme of the FG to exit them into self-employment.

Kuponiyi stressed that the focus of the collaboration is geared towards empowering beneficiaries through the agency banking platform in carrying out financial services such as account opening, bills payments, fund transfer, cash in/cash for Nigerians while they earn commission in return with just the use of their smartphones.

According to him, this initiative comes at no cost to the beneficiaries as they can use their phones to carry out agency banking activities for which they earn commissions on each activity carried out. “Once on board, these beneficiaries will become HOPE PSBANK agents. They will undergo training on the various activities by the bank at no cost to them”, he added.

“We are very excited about this collaboration with the Ministry, which is in line with the thrust of the social objectives of Hope Payment Service Bank – poverty reduction through financial inclusion and diffusion of digital financial services”, he said.

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